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Far away on forward operating bases military men and women are cleaning their weapons and going about their business. It is just another day. Tomorrow, ops permitting, there will be time for a brief ceremony with a wreath, a flag, and perhaps a yellow ribbon to pay their respects for those who paid it forward. Those of us who served with them or waited for them to come home mark the holiday in our own way. For all of our differences, the one thing each of us who has ever deployed had in common was the desperate wish to make it out alive.

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Hawks:  a mating pair. Bryon watched them through binoculars. The one on the right ate first and flew away to feed young. We think they have a nest nearby.

If you compare this to the photo from a couple of weeks ago, you’ll see that there has been some progress. Here’s what’s behind me:

                                                        Romaine lettuce and mixed greens, above.

 Blackberries and a purple bell pepper. Scarlet runner bean and potato flowers. The potatoes have been taking over the lower bed! We even had a surprise visitor–this one’s harmless.

The hatchlings in the orange tree have mysteriously disappeared, and we fear they may have become someone’s meal. However, other birds haven’t been discouraged from starting families nearby. The ones in the apple tree are almost teenagers now!

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